Why More Is Less

Why More Is Less

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We have all heard the phrase “less is more” in terms of the simpler something is, the better. Many times, especially in things like recipes, design, and skincare, this is true. Everyone knows about the advantages and benefits of having fewer ingredients, chemicals, or colors, but no one ever talks about the actual dangers of having too much of something. Just like when you are cooking a meal, if you keep adding too many spices and seasonings and not mixing skillfully, it is likely they will all drown out each other’s flavor and become too overwhelming. This can happen with a skincare routine as well. Not only can too many ingredients not really work together effectively, but they can also actually be harmful to the skin. The effects of using too many skincare products or ingredients will convince you to convert into a more minimal and essential skincare routine.

What Do You Get Rid Of?

So, how do you know what you should keep in your routine as necessary, and what you can change or get rid of? Sometimes, you can’t tell what products are the ones that are changing your skin, for better or worse. First, dermatologists say to take note if your skin looks red or irritated after going through your skincare routine. A lot of times people think that means that their products are working since they can actually feel something in your skin, but really, that just means that your skin is being irritated and inflamed. Skincare is supposed to help your skin. It should not leave it feeling red, irritated, or slightly burning. But, if your skin looks good normally, that doesn’t mean that you should use more products either. Over time, you could harm your skin barrier, cause skin texture, find more breakouts, or see more and more irregular pigmentation.


More Products Can Cause More Breakouts

Another effect of using too many skincare products can be breakouts. Today, there are so many different products advertised to help cleanse the skin and get rid of acne, and then people try to buy all of them in order to fight those stubborn zits. However, mixing and applying too many different products and ingredients could actually just make things worse. It does not take an army of products to fight your breakouts. Actually, it is better to talk with a dermatologist to find the best product or ingredient that may treat your skin without causing more damage. On that note, it is also always important to remember that some products just don’t work effectively together. Just like in a recipe with too many ingredients that is easy and probable to mess up, a successful skincare routine is also better minimized. Instead of mixing different products, especially more potent ones designed to fight acne, try using them not all at once so you can find which one will actually work nicely for you. Also, this will save you some money in the future to not buy the other products that weren’t actually treating anything, or maybe even making breakouts worse and last longer.

Don’t Mix These Skincare Ingredients

Some skincare ingredients complement each other, and some do the opposite, causing more damage and irritation when paired together. For the more pure ingredients such as Vitamin C and retinol, you should let them stand alone to work best. Believe it or not, as effective they can be for your skin alone, if you mix those exact ingredients or apply them around the same time, they can cause reverse effects and really hurt your skin. Another pairing that will be harmful to the skin is Vitamin C and Alpha Hydroxy Acids, also known as AHA’s which are a common exfoliating acid. Also, be sure to look out for the dangerous pairings of Vitamin C and Benzoyl Peroxide, Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide, Retinol and AHA’s, etc. All of these possible pairs sound scary and easy to confuse, but just remember to know what is in your skincare routine and in your products, and you will learn what to have in your morning routine versus your night routine to separate any of them.

Here is a general guide of the minimum and maximum limits of these ingredients that you can use:

Adenosine 0.1% 1%
Allantoin 0.20% 2.00%
Alpha Arbutin 0.20% 2.00%
Argireline 3.00% 10.00%
Azelaic acid (Potassium azeloyl diglycinate) 1.00% 10.00%
Bakuchiol (natural retinol) 0.50% 1.00%
Bisabolol 0.50% 1.00%
Caffeine 0.10% 0.50%
Caffeine (encapsulated) 1.00% 5.00%
Ceramides 3 (NP) 0.01% 0.20%
D-alpha tocopherol (Vitamin E) 0.50% 2.00%
d-Panthenol (Vitamin B5) 0.70% 2.70%
Ectoin 0.50% 5.00%
Ferulic acid 0.10% 1.00%
Gluconolactone (PHA) 1.00% 15.00%
Glycolic Acid (AHA) 1.00% 30.00%
Hyaluronic acid (HMW) 0.05% 3.00%
Hyaluronic acid (LMW) 0.01% 1.00%
Lactic acid (AHA) 1.00% 10.00%
L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) 1.00% 5.00%
Mandelic acid (AHA) 1.00% 50.00%
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) 0.20% 5.00%
Oryzanol 0.10% 1.00%
Peptides (depends on the complex) 0.50% 2.00%
Resveratrol 1.00% 3.00%
Retinal 0.01% 0.10%
Retinyl palmitate 0.10% 1.00%
Retinyl retinoate 0.01% 0.10%
Salicylic Acid (BHA) 0.10% 3.00%
Sodium ascorbyl phosphate (Vitamin C) 0.20% 3.00%
Ubiquinone Q10 (depends on the complex) 0.01% 0.50%
Urea 2.00%


Narrowing It Down

Now, to find the products that you actually need in your routine. This can sometimes be difficult, especially if you generally have good skin, then it can be harder to tell what is too much. Most dermatologists recommend that you first try to stick to a basic routine, such as the classic cleansing, serum, moisturizing, and sunscreen (if during the day). It is important to especially be careful with exfoliating, as exfoliating too often or with too many different products can be harmful and actually damage your skin barrier. As with different serums, try not to pile on many serums all at once. Try introducing whichever serums you prefer on different days and times so that you may experience the effect of the specific one in use to be able to tell how it works with your skin and if it should be considered necessary. It is all about listening and understanding what your skin needs but also talking with a doctor when you are just not sure as they will be able to tell you exactly which products and ingredients to avoid and which to allow. After finding your best skincare routine with the exact amount of essentials, you will find your skin more glowing, and your wallet relieved. This is when you realize that less is more in your life, and how more is oftentimes too much.

Check out our clean and simple products that you can try with your skincare routine

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